Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Name That Tune

Work. Sleep. Check e-mail at 3 AM. Work. Sleep. Answer e-mail at 2 AM. Work. Sleep. Oh yeah, and did I mention it is ragweed season so I can't breathe without coughing unless I take in large amounts of medicines I can't pronounce?

Yes, that's how my past few weeks have been, aside from a few nice moments like visiting my family and dinner with the inlaws. Thus, no updates here, and not much time for a long one.

The other day on one of the Facebook groups I frequent, there was a discussion about DisneyQuest. Ages ago, I used to go there a lot and enjoyed visiting as a local. (I'm not sure it has much to offer someone who is only in town for a short period of time, as there's lots of other amazing things to do on property.)

So what does that have to do with Animal Kingdom? Well, some nights I'd be one of a very few people waiting in line for the last ride on Virtual Pirates, and it was quiet enough in the place you could hear the background music. It didn't take me long before I was able to peg it--the background music used on the first floor is the same background music as the Entrance loop at Animal Kingdom. (You can buy a CD of it at Disney, and it really makes for nice soothing tunes to have on in the background.) This makes a lot of sense given what's in that area: Virtual Pirates, Virtual Jungle Cruise, and (at one time) Treasure of the Incas.

If you're ever in DisneyQuest and it happens to be a quiet night, take a listen...and see if they still use it today.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Congrats to Animal Kingdom!

From Travel and Leisure:

World's most-visited theme parks for 2011:

7) Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, FL

Annual Visitors: 9,783,000

This 500-acre homage to Africa is by far the largest of all Disney theme parks, re-creating a lush jungle area and savanna that is home to 1,700 animals from 250 species. The Expedition Everest coaster and Kilimanjaro Safaris often attract the biggest crowds.

The top six were:
1. Magic Kingdom
2. Disneyland
3. Tokyo Disneyland
4. Tokyo DisneySea
5. Disneyland Paris
6. Epcot

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Being Part of the Show

Whew. The past two weeks have been fun filled with work and respiratory ick. Trying to get back into the swing of things, so one quick blog for today.

Down in the basement, I have bins of awards for public speaking (and even some for stand-up comedy). Yet, for some reason, when the request for volunteers at a Disney park goes out, I typically try to hide. Yes, I live in terror about being part of the show.

So maybe it was the wacky feelings of joy about being on the honeymoon, but I actually volunteered at the Flights of Wonder show, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Here's what my experience was like.

The Flights of Wonder show, located at the Caravan Stage in the Asia section of the park, is a free-flight bird show. The plot is pretty simple--a tour guide is afraid of birds, and learns that birds are nothing to fear. During the course of the show, many different birds and their habits are displayed. Unlike some other bird shows that may have birds doing very unnatural things, the emphasis in this show is showing natural behaviors.

There are a couple times where volunteers are asked for out of the audience. The one that I participated in involved going up on stage (gulp) and having a very swift-flying bird flying over your head to perch on the handler standing behind you.

When I was picked, I was called down to the stage, asked for my name and where I was from, and was introduced to the audience. Along with two other people, we were escorted onto the stage and showed where to sit. With our cameras at the ready, we were told to watch for a bird flying from the far side of the auditorium. The bird was so fast, within a matter of seconds it was over, and off I went back to my seat, picture in the camera, memories in my head, and thundering applause from the audience from my spectacular performance on stage.

(Okay, the applause probably wasn't thundering, nor was it likely for my performance, but it was quite the rush nearly getting run over by that bird!)

I believe at the end of the experience I got a certificate. It probably is somewhere down in the basement with the public speaking awards.

If you ever get the chance to participate in a show at Disney, I highly encourage it. It is a low-stress experience and a great memory for years to come. I also recommend the Flights of Wonder show. It is a great way to get off your feet and see some really amazing birds up close and personal.

And if you get to be the person on stage with the bird flying at you at a high rate of speed with it getting so close that you can feel the breeze of its feathers on your face, it's really up close and personal!